HAYDEN, Idaho — A Hayden property management company will pay $50,000 for violating Washington’s eviction moratorium. This case came to light in August 2020 by the Washington Attorney General’s Office and residents of Spokane Properties.
The lawsuits allege Whitewater Creek violated the moratorium and threatened to evict several tenants of low-income housing complexes in Spokane County, including Winter Heights Apartments in the Spokane Valley. In emails obtained by the AG’s office, staff members, led by majority owner Maryann Prescott, verbally threatened at least four residents of the properties for which he was responsible.
In a previous interview with a tenant, Skyla Morris told 4 News Now that a payment plan had been put in place to pay off the rent. Morris claimed the manager told her she was going to be deported or face deportation when the courts reopen. The apartment manager is also accused of telling Morris they would file harassment charges if she continued to call.
PREVIOUS COVER: Spokane Valley mother facing eviction, Washington sues property management company
That’s when she went to the AG’s office and a lawsuit was filed.
The AG’s office sent a letter in May asking Whitewater Creek to inform all residents that the moratorium prohibits threats of eviction and to comply with it. AG Bob Ferguson said the company had instead consistently and falsely denied threatening to evict anyone.
The fine includes civil penalties and costs of bringing the case into question. Whitewater Creek must also notify the AG’s office for the next three years if the real estate company is going to evict a resident. Additionally, the company must train all employees on tenant rights.
“Because of the pandemic, many Washingtonians are struggling,” Ferguson said. “Whitewater Creek is a sophisticated company. Nevertheless, he illegally threatened his tenants, most of whom have limited means. This resolution holds them accountable and sends a message to others that they must obey the law.
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